[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]D[/dropcap]elhi High Court witnessed the much awaited cross examination of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley by his onetime Guru and now arch rival Ram Jethmalani. The cross examination happened at a Joint Registrar’s room. From the beginning Jethmalani started entertaining the jam packed crowd in the small room saying that he loves people coming to hear him cross and the next time a much bigger room should be allotted to accommodate the crowd. Jaitley preferred to sit and Jethmalani preferred to stand during the proceedings.
Jethmalani’s assisting counsels kept jabbing that Jaitley’s lawyers’ were prompting him.
While the other AAP leaders were present, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did not come to the Court to witness the proceedings of the Civil Defamation case of Rs. 10 crore filed by Jaitley against them in connection with the allegation of corruption in DDCA (Delhi District Cricket Association), during Jaitley’s leadership.
First question to Jaitley was about his legal back ground and then swiftly Jethmalani started asking Jaitley about the intricacies of Civil Laws. Jaitley’s lawyers started objecting to Jethmalani’s tricky questions on the intricacies of Civil Law to browbeat him. Many a time Jaitley’s lawyers and Jethmalani’s assisting counsels were sparring. Jethmalani’s assisting counsels kept jabbing that Jaitley’s lawyers’ were prompting him.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]J[/dropcap]aitley’s one answer made everyone to laugh. When Jaitley claimed that he came to knew about the CBI raid at Kejriwal’s office through the media. Jethmalani retorted that no one will believe this. Jethmalani asked the same question in many ways to try and unsettle Jaitley, but he stuck to his stand.
The veteran lawyer that he is, Jethmalani tried all his tricks to provoke Jaitley and the Finance Minister who is also a senior advocate, maintained his calm. Jaitley came across as a sober, though studiously listening to answer the tricky questions of Jethmalani. Many times Jaitley’s lawyers asked Jethmalani not to shout. The ace lawyer shot back, telling them to learn to smile and not to lose calm over his questions by changing the tone.
He asked Jaitley about the difference between two words – Reputation and Goodwill.
Jaitley lawyer’s also countered Jethmalani by asking him to repeat the question and sometimes they said that they could not understand his questions. “I am not your law teacher to make you understand,” shot back Jethmalani with a full voice.
The cross examination which started around 11:30 am went up to 3pm with an hour lunch break. After a series of questions on civil law, Jethmalani started testing Jaitley’s proficiency in English language by asking meaning of many terms such as ‘unquantified’ in the petition. Then he started asking on how much value for reputation kind tricky questions.
He asked Jaitley about the difference between two words – Reputation and Goodwill. Jaitley said there were overlapping areas and that there is not much difference between the two. Hearing this Jethmalani started waving Webster’s Dictionary. He said even a crook can gain goodwill by giving favors to people when in power. But reputation is not like that. That was a remark to prick Jaitley, who maintained his composure despite the theatrics of Jethmalani.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n the afternoon Jethmalani concentrated on the DDCA corruption issues and CBI raid in Kejriwal’s office. Jaitley said he had noticed several allegations of Kejriwal in the past and did not care because it was on political issues.
Jethmalani cross examination will continue on Tuesday too. Jethmalani ended by boasting on his health at the age of 94 by saying that all this time he stood and Jaitley who is very much younger sat during the procedure. Advocates say, Jethmalani will stretch it for long and Jaitley has to face the crossing of other five AAP leaders. As this is a civil case, the crossing will be recorded in Registrar’s room and arguments will be happen in the Court. As Jaitley claimed Rs.10 crores in damages, the matter came to High Court. A similar kind of cross examination will happen in the criminal defamation case file by Jaitley in the trial court.
Many lawyers and law students eagerly watched the proceedings, apart from media. Everyone had come to see the sparring between two eminent legal personalities.